Pit bull is a term used to refer to the American Pit Bull Terrier breed, but people casually use it to also refer to the American Staffordshire Terrier, and Staffordshire Bull Terrier and any mixed breed that includes some or any of these. Although these other breeds may be related to the APBT, the true pit bull is the purebred American Pit Bull Terrier, which is recognized by the United Kennel Club (UKC) and the American Dog Breeders Association (ADBA). Since pit bull type dogs have been bred and overbred, many times by people who do not know anything about breeding as well as by people who do know the science behind breeding and who breed with the intention of continuing this amazing canine, to include all of the traits we all love about it, our society has ended up with a range of dogs that may have the true pit bull traits and many that have some pit bull genetics in them…so for the purposes of this website and our position on what a pit bull is, we will refer to pit bulls as encompassing the American Pit Bull Terrier, the American Staffordshire Terrier, and Staffordshire Bull Terrier and all mixes that include any of these.
Pit bulls can and do make fantastic family pets, in the hands of responsible owners who commit to these dogs, provide what they need to thrive and make them a part of their families.
Pit bulls are not the right dog for every home, but neither are chihuahuas, or golden retrievers. Pit bulls are high energy, fun-loving, fiercely loyal sweethearts that have gotten a raw deal, due to criminal activity such as dog fighting and gangs trying to bolster their own “tough” image, and an overzealous media who have over-reported stories about pit bulls.
It is important to remember that when you see a news report about pit bulls involved in some kind of trouble, each dog is an individual and every situation is different; lot of times pertinent facts are left out of a report. Was the dog chained 24/7 and allowed very little human interaction if any at all? Was he neglected and forgotten? It is unfair to judge an entire breed on one dog’s actions. Every dog is an individual. Judge the behavior, NOT the breed. In most cases, the reason can be traced back to a negligent owner.
A person wishing to own a pit bull must ask themselves: Do I have the energy and strength required in order to control a dog with this level of energy and power? Do I have a proper place for the dog to live and thrive? Do I have the time to commit to training a dog like this? Do I understand what it is to be a responsible owner in order to help this breed as opposed to hurting it? Can I make my dog into a breed ambassador, so that we as a team can help other pit bulls by representing the breed well in public? Am I a strong leader?
A pit bull needs a strong leader and someone who will commit to all of the above listed suggestions in order to thrive. A dog who is neglected will rapidly deteriorate emotionally if any of his needs are not met.
TRAINING AND SOCIALIZATION
Like any breed, pit bulls require commitment from their owners, to train and socialize them, and this does not mean for one 8 week course at your local pet store….this means for the life of the animal. It is what will get you the dog of your dreams, and it’s easy to do. Pit bulls are very intelligent dogs and want nothing more than to please their owners…making training an easily attainable task!
more to come…